A LITTLE FARM POETRY …

Farming is not a job that just anyone can do
In fact it’s a job that is done by few

About 2% of people claim farming as their occupation
But 2.2 million farms is a good foundation

There’s always work to be done; rain or shine
Oh, you need a nap? There is no time!

Throwing hay bales in the summer’s heat
Or doing chores in the rain, snow, or sleet

Manual labor isn’t always fun
But farmers do what they have to, to get the job done

Mechanics and farmers go hand-in-hand
Because farming is unpredictable and doesn’t always go as planned

Hogs, cattle, chickens, goats, and sheep
It’s never quiet on the farm; there’s always a peep

When do farmers plant in the spring and harvest in the fall?
They rely on Mother Nature to help make that call

An acre is about the size of a football field
The more you produce, the better the yield

Corn is grown in every state in the United States
That’s a fun fact to remember when it’s on your plate

Alfalfa is the oldest plant known that is used for livestock feed
A nutritious choice that is a supply in need

Farming could not improve without science
Together they have quite the alliance

Keeping equipment and genetics up to speed
Technology helps the farming industry succeed

National Poetry month happens to be April
Enjoy reading this farm poem around the kitchen table

Ali Seys
Illinois State University Student

FARMING {IT’S MORE THAN CROPS & CRAP}

-BeanWalkinEvery day, I count my blessings. I’m thankful that I have been raised on a farm, where working hard is second nature. And when I say working hard, I mean hard, physical, manual labor. Whether that’s baling hay, picking sweet corn by the dozens (I’m talking 100 dozen by hand), walking beans, or scraping old barns to prepare them for a fresh coat of paint. It all needs to be done, and I’ve learned the job is more enjoyable with some country music and a good attitude.

-SweetCornMy farming parents always challenge me to grow, become better, stronger, and healthier, just as they wish for their crops. There are plenty of opportunities to be challenged on the farm. There are always new things to be learned, and sometimes that requires me to step out of my comfort zone. That includes learning to change my own oil, driving a tractor for my first time, or trying to understand marketing concepts my parents use. I’m the kind of gal who likes to have all the answers, but sometimes you have to forget about your pride and ask -cropcheckinquestions.

Farming is a job where what my family and I do today can affect results several months later. So decisions must be made accordingly and priorities must be in place. I love that I get to look out the window of the farmhouse each morning and watch the crops progress until harvest comes. Harvest time is filled with hard work and long hours. When we were younger, we associated harvest time with homework in the grain truck, lollipops from the local elevator, and a harvesttired mom and dad. Now we realize that it is a lot more than that. Harvest time means that we are finally able to reap the rewards of the time and work put into that year’s crop.

Farming is working alongside my family day in and day out in order to raise crops that helps feed the world. Can it get any better than that?

Turn the Paige to hear more of my farm story. You can find me on Facebook at Turn The Paige: The Story of Farmer’s Daughter

paige ehnlePaige Ehnle
Illinois Central College Student
Turn the Paige Blog

 

SO, YOU THINK FARMERS ARE RICH?

It is a common misconception, thinking that farmers are big money-makers. Did you know that in 2011, the average total farm household income was $57,067, with the farm income alone being NEGATIVE $2,250? Still think farmers are rich?

Commodity prices are publicly broadcasted, but the input prices are not. It has become more expensive than ever to put seed corn and soybeans in the ground. It cost farmers just at $500 per acre to put the crop in the ground. So, figure they get lucky and sell their corn for $7.00 per bushel. With a yield of 150 bushels to the acre, that would be about $1,000. Take out the $500 for the seed, fertilizers, crop insurance, storage, hired labor, and all things necessary to keep the crop healthy, and the farmer is left with $500 per acre. With that money they have to buy their big pieces of machinery, such as a tractor, planter, or combine. Still think they are rich?

For most farmers, their crop production is their only source of income. So after all the business operations are complete, they have to support their family. With all of that, they do not have the leisure of having the opportunity of calling in sick or just taking the day off. Each day is crucial in their operation so they can be as productive as possible. There is always that possibility that they could lose everything in a matter of days, weeks, or months by wind, fire, or other disaster. Farming is an unbelievably uncertain profession to go into.

Farm subsidies are a very important part of a farmer’s business. What happens if there is a really bad drought? Or a new insect or disease introduced to their area? What if commodity prices are down? The farmer still paid that initial money up front to put the crop in the ground. When the yield is below normal, the government steps in and helps the farmer out. Private companies do not have the means of accommodating the riskiness associated with farming.

The subsidies are not free money, either. The farmers have to put forth a lot of work in order to show that their yields are down. For most programs, there is an average bushel per acre that they have as a standard. Another stipulation is that the farmer cannot enroll in multiple programs. They choose what best fits their needs.

The government is helping out its producers, but that gives a lot of help to the consumers too. Farmers are our source of food, fuel, clothing, basically anything you can think of. Would you rather support the government and our farmers, or rely of the Middle Eastern countries to provide us with our gasoline? The government has to guarantee food security for its citizens. Also, to make sure we can sustain our country and not have to rely on others to support our needs.

Do you still think that farmers are rich? Maybe the farm subsidies are not such a bad deal after all.

Katlyn Pieper
Illinois State University

FARMER’S TRIBUTE: SO GOD MADE A FARMER

Welcome to Video Week on Corn Corps! The Sundance Film Festival is in full swing and we thought what better way to celebrate than by bringing you one video every day this week that celebrates Illinois agriculture, corn production, and farm family life.

Today’s video comes to us from the Facebook page Agriculture Everyday

“The past few days there has been quite a bit of discussion on a Yahoo article about useless degrees, with agriculture topping it. It makes a few comments that I find somewhat degrading to the agriculture and farming lifestyle. Since most of the agriculture community has been upset and offended by that article, I felt the need to uplift farmers and remind them that agriculturalists are some of the strongest people I know. So please, watch the video below. Paul Harvey hit the nail right on the head in my opinion, and I am proud to say I grew up on a farm and I can attest to most of this video in some way or another.”